Friday, January 30, 2009

The Price of a Ticket

Everyone loves a night out on the town, right? Dinner and a movie is the classic date, or even a relaxing evening with friends. I love walking into a theater, smelling the popcorn, walking along the sticky aisles trying to find the best seat available. There’s nothing like seeing a blockbuster movie opening night as the crowd cheers and boos along with you.

So why is the last movie I saw in the full priced theater the most recent Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix? The prices. Now, I understand prices vary depending on where you live. Doesn’t everything? I can’t walk into a Target in Illinois and expect to pay the same amount for an item in San Diego. I get the whole ‘cost of living’ thing. Trust me. I probably make more in California than I would in Illinois.

But here’s the thing. Why are movie theater ticket prices almost DOUBLE in San Diego and Los Angeles-larger cities? In talking with a friend yesterday, I found out that her general admission ticket prices were $8 at peak hours (in PA). Other times it’s only $6. To see a movie here in San Diego, CA, you will find general admission tickets are $11.50…PER PERSON. Matinee? $9.00. Imax? $15.00. This made me look up the ticket prices for my old theater in the San Fernando Valley (basically Los Angeles)…$12.00 for general admission.

How do they get away with such inflation? Wouldn’t you think that movies would make more money in the long run if they were cheaper in cities with a larger population? How do teens afford to go with their friends? I know that I would see every movie I was interested in if it was a little less. In fact, I used to! We are seeing the same movie, having the same experience yet paying very different prices.

Can you imagine if books were to do the same? Would people stop buying books if they were almost double the price in larger/more populated areas?

So, do you still go to the theater often and if so, how much are tickets at your local cinema?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fiction as Activism

"The Pen is mightier than the sword."
--Edward Bulwer-Lytton

I come from a family of activists. Most of my early memories are at protests, marches and rallies. It was a great way to grow up and I am grateful for it, because I feel that activism and awareness of the world around you broadens your writing and your mind. 

But there are some downsides. Mostly getting asked by people, over and over, why you're wasting your time with the silly writing rather than being out there, changing the world. 

I got asked this the other day. Several times, in fact. And I tried to explain then about the all-encompassing reach of fiction and how it can change you.

The person didn't get it.

Fiction can be activism. It can change people's perspective. It can change cultural norms. Why do you think books get banned or burned throughout history? Because words are powerful. 

YA Fiction, specifically, can have a huge effect on the world (at least in my opinion). Teenagers are the future (and wow do I sound like an old lady when I say that. Ha), and by opening their minds to different ideas, different ways of life, different religions, different morals, different politics, different sexualities, then we, as authors, are giving them a chance to broaden (and maybe open) their minds. To think about what it would like to be different. And even to relate to characters who are different from them, but they can still identify with on certain levels. 

One book can change someone's life. I fully believe that because one book changed mine. So how big of a step is it to believe that one book can change the world? Or at least part of it.

I am an activist. And I am a writer. Those two things are hopelessly tangled together in my brain, and it colors my writing. I write about gay teens, about sexuality and sex, about being a young woman in this world and all the dangers and joys that come with it, because maybe someday, I will be able to change someone's life out there.  

We'll see. But until then, I'm gonna keep on with my "silly writing".

Tess Sharpe

Monday, January 26, 2009

Nearest Book

You may have seen this game before, I first encountered it on Facebook. A quick search on the net shows it on countless blogs, too. But I love it and wanna play.

You game?

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (in a comment)
* Don't dig for your favourite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Here's mine from Dead is a State of Mind by Marlene Perez (the entire series ROCKS btw):

"Not half as much as I owe you, but I'm curious - what do you want a San Carlos yearbook for?" she said.

Not bad, hints at something suspect and has a location. Cool. Almost makes me want to zoop up my own Page 56 before Under My Skin goes to

Okay - let's see what kind of wacky, deep or highly puzzling sentences are out there in YOUR nearest book.